Wednesday, March 23, 2011

All of us are family

About a month ago I had the great honor of having my music used in a short film by Marcos Davalos, a filmmaker located here in DC.  The film is called "All of Us Are Family."

To quote Marcos' description:

"In 2010, families from 68 grassroots organizations from 23 countries convened at the fourth international convention of Families for Sexual Diversity. Starting with only a handful of participants in the first gathering of FSD in México in 2002, the number of families and countries has grown with each meeting in a celebration of empowerment."

He uses two songs of mine, "Window" and "Attic".  "Window" is the one you hear first, "Attic" comes in later, and is featured in the closing credits.  I'll admit I've never been the best at naming my songs.  Marcos deserves a lot of credit for how well he wove this music into his movie, teasing really limited musical material into enough substance to fill out his film.  He also deserves credit for being able to bring the volume up on that recording of "Window" without it sounding terrible, something I've never been able to do.

I wrote "Window" in one session September of 2006 sitting on the porch of 328 Catherine St in Ann Arbor on a beautiful day, just before school was starting.  I remember moving inside to finish it amid the boxes of roommates moving in, and that it was just after I had cut my (then quite long) hair short for the first time since childhood.  This recording is from a concert I gave at the Canterbury House in Ann Arbor November 10th of that same year - I believe it was recorded on my friend's macbook, which is why the volume is so low.  I've never managed to record or perform it again as well as I did on that concert, though I've certainly tried.  Often, the simpler a song, the more elusive a compelling performance.  "Attic" was also born in one or two sittings out of the theme from an improvisation.  It was recorded the day after that same concert by Tomek Miernowski, at the UM Recording Studio.  It also dates from Summer/Fall 2006 and I'm pretty sure I never gave it a second thought after recording it until Marcos used it.  I think it complements the video perfectly.  I used my father's Washburn acoustic for both tracks.

Here are the songs in their original versions:

"Window" (beware, volume is very low)


Part of the reason I go into such detail is that I have, for the first time, put some of this music online where it can be downloaded for free - click here for the link.  I'm pleased for these very simple and humble songs to still have a life even almost five years later, and to be able to contribute in a small way through my music to the LGBT community.

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